Our Daily Bread — Rescue Mission

Bible in a Year:

Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

Psalm 38:15

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 38:11–22

Volunteers at a farm animal rescue organization in Australia found a wandering sheep weighed down by more than seventy-five pounds of filthy, matted wool. Rescuers suspected the sheep had been forgotten and lost in the bush for at least five years. Volunteers soothed him through the uncomfortable process of shearing away his heavy fleece. Once freed from his burden, Baarack ate. His legs grew stronger. He became more confident and content as he spent time with his rescuers and the other animals at the sanctuary.

The psalmist David understood the pain of being weighed down with heavy burdens, feeling forgotten and lost, and desperate for a rescue mission. In Psalm 38, David cried out to God. He had experienced isolation, betrayal, and helplessness (vv. 11–14). Still, he prayed with confidence: “Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (v. 15). David didn’t deny his predicament or minimize his inner turmoil and physical ailments (vv. 16–20). Instead, he trusted that God would be near and answer him at the right time and in the right way (vv. 21–22).

When we feel weighed down by physical, mental, or emotional burdens, God remains committed to the rescue mission He planned from the day He created us. We can count on His presence when we cry out to Him: “Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior” (v. 22).

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How has God revealed His faithfulness when you’ve felt weighed down? How has God used others to comfort and support you?

Gracious God, help me to encourage others who feel weighed down, lost, or forgotten.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – From Doctrine to Duty

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).

There can be no right living without right principles.

Imagine someone saying, “I have some extra money lying around. I think I’ll send a large check to the government.” Absurd, isn’t it? But every year, honest wage-earners fill out forms and give part of their income to the government. Why? It’s not because they are generous but because there is a law— a doctrine—that says they have to.

Unless people know the reason for what they should do, it’s unlikely they’ll make a commitment to do it. Paul understood that, so he always taught doctrine before duty. “Therefore” in Ephesians 4:1 links the doctrine of chapters 1—3 to the duty of chapters 4—6. Doctrine and duty are inseparably linked; duty always flows out of doctrine. Right living is based on right principles. Paul told the Colossian church, “We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (1:9). For what purpose? “So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (v. 10). Spiritual knowledge, wisdom, and understanding make up the pathway of a worthy walk.

When pastors teach duty without teaching doctrine, they weaken the Word of God because they’ve eliminated the motive. They may be able to stir up emotions, but that brings no long-term commitment. The pastor’s responsibility is to teach the truth of God, and the hearer’s responsibility is to obey it.

Of course, the source of God’s truth is His Word: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Knowing the Bible well is our means of equipping ourselves for a righteous life.

As we think about our worthy walk, let’s avoid emotionalism and legalism, and instead focus on living what we learn from a thorough and personal study of God’s Word.

Suggestions for Prayer

If you have neglected studying the Bible, confess that to God, and ask Him to give you a greater desire to learn His Word.

For Further Study

Read Ephesians 1—3 and list all we are or have in Christ. Knowing what God has given you, can you do any less than commit yourself to Him completely?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – Make and Maintain Peace

Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.

— Matthew 5:9 (AMP)

Have you ever known anyone who seems to stir up trouble everywhere they go? A gathering of people can be fairly calm and enjoyable, but when that person arrives, it becomes tense and unpleasant. In contrast, have you ever known someone who can be in the midst of conflict and seem to de-escalate it with just a few words of wisdom, a look, or a steady, quiet demeanor? This is the kind of person today’s scripture describes.

Everywhere we look today, we seem to see a lack of peace. In some cases, and some places in the world, there is all-out war. In other places, there is unrest. In others, there are disagreements and differences of opinion that make living together or working together uncomfortable. People of peace can go into these circumstances and calm the people involved. They know just how to pray and just what to say to defuse anger. Let me encourage you today: Next time you find yourself in a tense situation, choose not to join in and make it worse. Choose instead to ask God to help you bring and keep peace.

Prayer of the Day: Father, help me to be a maker and a maintainer of peace everywhere I go. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Life at Low Tide

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?

Psalm 6:2-3

Have you ever felt like your life is at low tide? Perhaps you feel that way now. Sometimes we sense that we no longer have the spiritual vitality we once did. Either our own sins or sins committed against us have sapped our strength. Dark clouds seem to overshadow our faith. What was once a devoted zeal has become a distanced formalism, and what we used to enjoy we now merely endure. Such feelings may barely register at first. The waters seem to recede slowly. But the next thing you know, you look down and see the bare ocean floor. The ship of your faith has run aground.

When David wrote Psalm 6, his soul was at low tide. He was stuck in despair, saying, “I am weary with my moaning” (Psalm 6:6), and “My eye wastes away because of grief” (v 7). David’s experience shows that it is not abnormal for us as believers to feel overwhelmed by sin, be it our own or that committed against us.

But hope for a higher tide remains.

David pleads for God to be gracious to him: “Turn [and] deliver my life,” he asks (Psalm 6:4). Living this side of the cross, we know the ultimate source of that deliverance for which David pleaded. There on the cross is mercy without measure. At Calvary, God canceled the record of our sins and shamed our spiritual enemies (Colossians 2:14-15). Yes, Christ’s cross confronts us with our guilt and brings us to our knees—but the grace and mercy that God lavishes on us there also stands us on our feet. The God who encounters our hardened hearts is the same God who grants us repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) and liberates our lips to praise Him.

Because of Christ, God hears all our weeping and despair (Psalm 6:8)—and if we have come to know and love His mercy, then we can claim with David, “The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer” (v 9). We come to Him. We cry to Him. We commit ourselves to Him. No matter how low we are, how guilty we feel, or how hurt by the actions of others we may have been, God can still turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with gladness (Psalm 30:11).

God doesn’t guarantee that the tide will come rushing back as soon as we cry out to Him. But hope is never far away for those who trust in the Lord. One day—whether today or the first day of our eternity with Him—we will know complete healing of our souls and bodies and, ultimately, an end to all our troubles. God’s timing may be mysterious to us. But the tide will come in and all our troubles will be swept away. The cross declares it.


Psalm 6

Topics: Anxiety Trials Worry

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is a God of Truth

“He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)

Have you ever broken something like your mom’s good china or a special glass? Glass is fragile; it is easily broken. It’s the same way with trust. Trust in a friend can easily be broken. One of the quickest ways to lose a person’s trust is by lying. If a person lies to you, you never know when to believe him.

Lies are told in several different ways: telling a half-truth, sharing a story in a way that makes you look better than what actually happened, being one way with one person and another way with somebody else, or allowing a lie or rumor to continue when you know that it is not true. No matter what form it takes, a lie is a sin.

If God lied only once, we would never be able to trust Him or His Word. But God cannot lie. He does not have the ability to lie. We can trust God completely because He is a God of truth – everything He says is true; His words are reliable. What a comfort to know that all of God’s promises in His Word are true. If you are a child of God, one way to be like your Father is to be truthful.

You can trust God because He is a God of truth.

My Response:
» Do I trust God’s Word?
» Do I consistently speak the truth?

Denison Forum – Monday Night Football game suspended after player Damar Hamlin collapses on field

Damar Hamlin (PDF) is a twenty-four-year-old safety for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. Nine minutes into last night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, he tackled a Bengals receiver who appeared to collide with him in the head and chest area.

Hamlin quickly stood up, took two steps, collapsed backward, and his body went limp.

Medical personnel administered CPR and cared for him for ten minutes while visibly upset players from both teams watched. Some shed tears while others circled together to pray.

The Bills said later that Hamlin had suffered cardiac arrest on the field; his heartbeat was restored and he was taken to a Cincinnati hospital. According to the team, “He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

The NFL postponed the game; rescheduling discussions have not yet occurred.

A picture that brought tears to my eyes

The reaction in prayer was immediate and profound.

photo of players and coaches from both teams praying on their knees brought tears to my eyes. Christians from around the league were quick to respond as well.

Robert Griffin III tweeted the image of the praying players and wrote, “Please don’t share the video of the Damar Hamlin play. Share this because we are all praying for him and his family.” Star quarterback Josh Allen tweeted: “Please pray for our brother.”

Patrick Mahomes tweeted, “Praying hard.. please be okay man.” Tim Tebow added, “Please join me in prayer for Damar Hamlin.”

If you don’t believe in Zeus

I’m sure their calls for prayer will be criticized by skeptics, as they usually are when “thoughts and prayers” are offered during a crisis. Critics want us to do something concrete and practical about the issues we face, believing that words spoken to God (if he exists) are insufficient and often used as a substitute for action.

Such criticism is understandable from their point of view. If you don’t believe in Zeus, you will discount prayers to him in a crisis when practical responses are needed. If those who pray to him don’t then take action, you’ll dismiss their prayers as a pious evasion of personal responsibility.

But if you believe in the God to whom Christians prayed last night, you know that asking for his help is the most practical thing we can do. Why would you not want an omnipotent God to intervene in a health emergency? Why would you not ask him to heal Damar Hamlin as Jesus healed so many others in Scripture?

And you know that praying to God in a crisis, rather than distracting us from taking action, empowers us to respond in ways we could not otherwise. This is why John Bunyan observed, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

Our real problem with prayer

Our real problem with praying in a crisis is not that we do it but that we don’t do more of it. The Bible says, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Jesus assured us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Criticism of prayer unmasks the self-sufficiency at the heart of our secularized culture. But crisis unmasks the irrationality of such self-sufficiency. We think we don’t need God anymore, that our scientific and medical advances have made faith in him obsolete and irrelevant. Then we face an emergency our human resources cannot solve and we are faced with our need for Someone beyond ourselves.

For example, this morning’s news tells us about another earthquake and massive flooding in California, a death in a house fire, fatalities and injuries from car crashes, and snowmobile accidents that killed a professional driver and severely injured a Hollywood actor.

Each story demonstrates again our finitude and frailty in a broken and fallen world.

Three practical steps

The right response to Damar Hamlin’s life-threatening injury and to the other crises in our world is to do what sports analyst and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho tweeted: “Join me in praying for: Damar Hamlin’s full recovery. Peace for his family and loved ones. Wisdom for doctors and physicians in contact with Damar right now.”

Then he added, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16b).”

First, be sure you are a “righteous person” by renewing your commitment to Christ as your Lord and submitting to the sanctifying power of his Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). For practical ways to experience the power of God in prayer, please read my latest blog, “The key to success is to ‘sit in one chair.’

Second, pray specifically for Damar Hamlin and any other crises in the news and in your life. Ask God to work in power and grace.

Third, look for ways to help answer your prayers by meeting needs in God’s name. For example, a toy drive sponsored by Damar Hamlin with a goal of $2,500 had raised more than $3,170,000 as of this writing. Find a way to help a hurting person with the compassion of Christ.

One way God redeems our crises is by using them to turn us to himself. Pope Benedict XVI modeled such faith from his deathbed when he spoke his last words: “Lord, I love you.”

How will you express your love for your Lord today?

Denison Forum